Why Do We Work?

Monday, April 14, 2014

Work. What comes to mind when I say that word? How do you view your work?
Many of us are under the impression that God required us to work after the fall in the Garden of Eden. We may be living under the perception that work is punishment. We may see it as a necessary evil. How might this perception of work affect our attitude about work?
Work is NOT a necessary evil. God created us to work. He created us to work BEFORE Adam and Eve bit into the apple. After God created the earth and all that is therein, he placed us in charge of caring for it all. That is our work.
Our work is the action of taking care of things that God has entrusted us with.
With that definition of work, how might our thinking about work change? If work is the action of taking care of things, how can we flip our thinking about work? What does the “action of taking care of things” include? Work is the action of taking care of a lot of things: our home, our relationships, our children, our bodies, our social life, and the job we do for pay. Work is a whole host of things we do and involves the bigger picture of who we are. Work IS more than a job; it’s a lot of jobs, a lot of actions! Not only is work the action we do on a job, but it’s also the actions we do in everything that God has entrusted us with.
Our work is our relationship with everyone and everything that God has entrusted us with.
With this definition in mind, look at what this verse in Colossians says about how we approach our work.
·        Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters. Colossians 3:23 (NIV)
Work as if we are working for the Lord. This means in all aspects of work, in all of our jobs.
When God created the world, he created work. When God created us, he created for specific work, a specific purpose. We are designed to make an impact on the world in everything we think, feel, say, and do. Our work is the action we use to accomplish our purpose. Our paying job is one way we work. Everything else we do is a part of our work too. We are to do all of it as if we are doing it for the Lord.
It is our responsibility to determine who we are in him, what our God-given purpose is and what the work is we’ve been given. Galatians 6:4 tells us, "Make a careful exploration of who you are and the work you've been given." (The Message)
As we think about our work, let us explore who we are and the work we’ve been given to do. Let us pay careful attention to our God-given purpose and how we live in our purpose whether we are working at our paying job or working in all other aspects of our lives.
·        Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established. Proverbs 16:3 (NASB)

Limitless Living

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Though I am the least deserving of all God’s people, he graciously gave me the privilege of telling the Gentiles about the endless treasures available to them in Christ.  I was chosen to explain to everyone this mysterious plan that God, the Creator of all things, had kept secret from the beginning. Ephesians 3: 8-9

When Paul describes himself as “the least deserving of all God’s people,” he means that without God’s help, he would never be able to do God’s work. Yet God chose him to share the Good News with the Gentiles and gave him the power to do it. Sometimes we focus on our limitations instead of our limitlessness. Do we self-limit ourselves? Are there things God wants us to do, equips us to do, makes opportunities available for us to do, whispers to us to do but we don’t?  When we don’t, we are limiting God. We are living in our limitations instead of limitlessness. We want to experience limitless living with God.  Paul realized he could limit himself by continuing to think of himself as “the least deserving of all God’s people.” How might the entire course of the Early Church have changed if Paul had focused on his limitations? This is somber thought! Thank goodness Paul chose not to limit himself but to experience limitless living. Paul moved from limitations to limitlessness. He went from limited to unlimited when he allowed God to work through him as he traveled the world for Christ, as he started churches, and as he encouraged others in their faith journey.

What is the connection between the following verse and living a limitless life?

When someone has been given much, much will be required in return; and when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required. Luke 12:48

·        God gives us much.

·        God expects much.

·        If God gives and God expects, doesn’t he also equip?

Paul says he was “chosen to explain to everyone.” God gave him skills, abilities, and gifts. Then God chose a mission for him, and God expected the mission to be fulfilled. Paul had a choice. He accepted the mission, proclaimed the message, and he embraced his ministry. As a result, the Good News spread around the world.

How far might the Good News spread if we accept our mission, proclaim the message, and embrace our own ministry?

It will be fun to watch what happens will limitless living!

The Impossible Prayer

Thursday, March 20, 2014

How deep is God’s love in you? Is it filling you up? Do you believe that God can fill you up so full with his love that you can cope with impossible situations? The Apostle Paul tells us that we have a God big enough to handle our impossibilities. In Paul’s letter to the Ephesians he prayed for their spiritual growth.

16 I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit. 17 Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. 18 And may you have the power to understand, as all God’s people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is. 19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God. Ephesians 3:16-19

Let’s look at three parts of this prayer in these verses.
1.     “You may have the power to understand”
2.    “You may experience the love of Christ”
3.    “You will be made complete with the fullness of God”

Notice the prayer is for the power to understand God’s love. God’s love is total, says Paul. It reaches every corner of our experience. Paul uses dimensions to describe the vastness of God’s love. Haven’t you told someone, “I love you this much!” as you’ve spread your arms as wide as you could? There is no bigger width than that. “I love you to the moon and back” is a big love.
·         God’s love is wide – it covers the entire width of our experience.
·         God’s love is long – it continues the length of our lives.
·         It is high – it rises to the heights of our celebration and mountain top experiences.
·         His love is deep – it reaches to the depths of discouragement, despair, and even death.
We can never be lost to God’s love. Paul is saying that the love of Christ is eternal; it's infinite. It's without beginning or end. It cannot be measured or contained. This big love of God fills us up and makes us complete. It is awesome and humbling to think that this big God who spreads the width, length, height, and depth of all creation through all time and into eternity can fill ME up!

Paul is praying for some impossible things:

  • ·         to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge. Can you know something that passes knowledge?
  • ·         to comprehend the height, depth, width, breadth of something that has no beginning or end
  • ·         to be filled with all the fullness of God. Can you be filled with something that is so full you can’t even comprehend it? Can you be filled with an omnipresent, omniscient, all knowing God?

Have you ever thought of praying for the impossible? How does your prayer life compare to Paul's? Paul prays for the impossible here. What do you pray for? Are you routine prayers? Bless my day. Give me safety today. Thank you for the food. Protect me while I sleep. These are good and important prayers but Paul is asking us to pray impossible prayers. Can we pray the big prayer Paul wants us to pray? Can we pray to know the way God knows? Can we pray to love like God loves? Can we pray to be filled up every day with God? Can we pray the impossible prayer?

What is impossible for you to do? Think about that for a few minutes. What are the things that you believe you cannot do that perhaps God wants you to do?

What is impossible for you? To pray for your enemies? To love the unlovely? To study God’s Word? To make changes in a relationship? To set boundaries? To get ahold of your health? To right a wrong?

We all have different impossibilities. Can you trust God with your impossibilities?
When we tell ourselves we are in an impossible situation we can remember what Jesus told his disciples.

 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26

Give God your impossibilities today.


Wednesday, March 5, 2014

My granddaughter Stella loves to play with blocks. We work together to build tall houses and towers. Sometimes we don’t have the blocks lined up properly on the base and they crumble. So we start over and try to set a firm foundation before we add the blocks on top of each other.

Some of us are like the blocks. When we don’t get properly lined up with the base, our faith in Christ, we begin to crumble.

Stella also loves playing with Legos. When we build a house with Legos, we are careful to fit the pieces together perfectly. We want them to connect evenly and create snug fit. When we line up the Lego pieces carefully attaching one to another, we can really build a very steady house.

Some of us are like that with Christ. We have a snug fit. We align ourselves really well to the first piece, the base piece, the cornerstone.

What is the role of a cornerstone for a building?
The cornerstone, the foundation stone, is the first stone set in the construction of a foundation. This is important since all other stones will be set in reference to this stone. This stone determines the position of the entire structure.  If the cornerstone is defective in anyway, if the line is off by a tiny angle, the whole building will be wrong.

Together, we are his house, built on the foundation of the apostles and the prophets. And the cornerstone is Christ Jesus himself. We are carefully joined together in him, becoming a holy temple for the Lord. Ephesians 2:20 & 21

What does this mean to us if Christ is the cornerstone? EVERYTHING flows from the cornerstone. He is the beginning. He is our reference point. He determines our position.  Verse 21 says we are carefully joined together in him. We are fitted together with him and we form a holy temple as we fit together with Christ.

Paul wanted to encourage the church at Ephesus to be one in Christ and to look to him as their foundation, their leader. There were issues, factions, and differences among the members in the Early Church that could tear them apart. Paul is reminding them to come together at the cornerstone. When we are fit together with the cornerstone, we turn to God with our issues and our differences.

Where is your fit to the cornerstone? When we are snug against the cornerstone, our thoughts become his thoughts, our emotions become his emotions, our words become his words, and our actions become his actions. We live in our strengths and in our purpose. We seek to be like him. We become one with Christ.

The more disconnected we are to the cornerstone, the more our world is wobbly. When we aren’t snugged up to the cornerstone, we have a harder time living in our strengths.

Remember the story Jesus told about the wise man building his house upon the rock.  It endured the storms of life.  What happened to the foolish man who built on a foundation of sand?  His house crumbled.
Our goal is to attach ourselves firmly to the cornerstone so that we can endure the storms of life.

Hillsong Church song “Cornerstone” reminds us that Christ alone is our cornerstone and we are made strong in his love.

Christ alone
Christ alone; cornerstone
Weak made strong; in the Saviour's love
Through the storm, He is Lord
Lord of all

Let’s fit snuggly to the cornerstone and get strong in Him!

Leading Forward - by Templates para novo blogger